Visual Novel Survey.

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
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YonYonYon
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#16 Post by YonYonYon » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:17 am

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
No, but I like romance and appreciate it if it's there and well done.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
What? No! I don't mind them tho. But done poorly they're hilarious, which can kill the mood if it's played seriously.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
Everyday life of the characters. Setting doesn't matter, I think, but there must be no adventures or quests, only personal conflicts and drama.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
Hmmm, I'd like to know beforehand what to expect. Not a warning, but if someone will suddenly die in a gruesome way in a happy-happy fluffy sunny story, I will delete the game from my laptop and never play your games again. Like, set a tone from the beginning of your story, choose a genre and try to make your deaths suit them. For example, characters die all the time in adventures, but their deaths aren't grotesque(if it's not the point). While in horrors there will be blood, crushed bones and slimy meaty stuff.
Also, if your works contain suicide or gore, it's better to put little warnings in the comments on your site.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
All the things are important, but personally I put them like this: Art => writing => story => music.

I put the art first because I won't even touch a game with a hideous art. For me to try a game with a bad art it has to have perfect scores and reviews, see Higurashi. But, I have my own standarts in art, if the art isn't perfect but it's very charming/stylish/iteresting I'll love it.

I put writing before story because as a non-native English speaker it can be hard to understand anything if the story is badly written. And if I can understand anything, what's the point?

Story is the core of the game, though. If I'm not interested in the story I won't play the game at all, too.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
No. It's too broad. This description doesn't hook me at all. "You and your friends are working really hard", okay. And?

See? That's why I like to have pictures. I don't know if the story will be good, but if I see pretty pictures I'll be a little bit interested to try it out.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#17 Post by epistellar » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:30 am

Interesting survey! Happy to answer.

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
Not at all. I'm actually at the point in my story-consuming life where I prefer there not be a typical romance involved, but if the characters are compelling enough and the chemistry feels real to me, romance is welcome. My personal tastes stray from boy-meets-girl unless the story and character development arcs are better served by their romantic entanglement.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
Nope! Fade to black is just fine for me, but sex scenes can be really lovely too. So note me down for 'not necessary, but welcome.'

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
I definitely think of anime/manga that involve friendship, the day-to-day mundanities of basic life obligations (school/work) and usually family problems or interpersonal problems (friendships/romances) with comedic elements. Modern and usually featuring working class protags either 1) dumped into wealthier surroundings or 2) just generally dealing with people outside of their usual circle.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

I wouldn't want a warning before the actual event happens. A warning just before an event can disrupt the immersion for me, but I like warnings for emotionally or physically traumatic experiences at the start of game. Often, they don't deter me from playing; rather, they help me prepare or pick a better time to play.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)

Since we're talking about VNs I'll say that story and its level of interactibility trumps all for me. You are very right in that story differs from writing, and I do not need high quality, superfluously verbose writing to really enjoy the story being told.

Additionally, high quality art can really enhance the experience, but I place more weight on BGs than character sprites as BGs set the mood/tone for me. And again, the BG itself doesn't have to be all that great - just enough to give me a strong sense of the setting. Character sprites are gorgeous, but won't stop me from enjoying the characters themselves if the characters are well-developed but the sprites themselves aren't that great. Sound is the second most important element, and I prefer ambient noise/soft background monotony to music with strong character. Strong music can distract from the story for me.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.

Yes to the first, maybe to the second, but do keep in mind this answer is just a reflection of what I'm looking to get out of VNs and is surely different for other people. Either way, you should keep writing the VN that YOU want to play, and it will find its audience!

Most VNs I've read are set in high school or college, but they mostly focus on romance because romance is very effective at grabbing the heartstrings and making players experience a variety of gut-churning emotions. So I'll say that while I welcome a life simulator VN of sorts, in the case of the the record label VN I'd still want a big focus to be on interpersonal relationships, not just the tactics of signing new talent and creating publicity buzz. I <3 character challenges.

As for the retail world VN idea, the protag would have to be a bit outside of the norm for me to want to play them leading an average life. And again, this is just a reflection of my personal tastes, so please don't let that stop you! I hope you'll find inspiration in the answers that are helpful and cast aside the ones that aren't.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#18 Post by wayward » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:57 am

I've only read several VNs, but...

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?

If it's interesting, it's interesting, love story or not. I mean, if you take a look at other forms of media, the movie Babe was about a pig. It had no love story, and I still enjoyed it.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?

Definitely not, but if they are done well, and are used as a way to connect with the characters / get to know them better, then I definitely approve of a hot and passionate sex scene.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.

Moments that aren't action packed or overly dramatic. Just life, watching characters do things that make you feel you are simply spending time with this character.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

I will always choose the more realistic option.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)

Kinda hard for me to answer, because each of those things are able to make me lose interest in the story if they are done poorly. If only the story is interesting I'll want to know what happens, but I'll always complain that the other features weren't made well, and I'll want to share my feelings with others, which can be a bad thing. That's a tough question.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.

Definitely yes. But honestly I think that any setting, and story can be entertaining, if it is told well (what does "if told well" mean? I guess that answer is the challenge when telling a good tale). But yes, definitely anything can be interesting.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#19 Post by Harliqueen » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:03 am

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
I don't need it, but I will admit I do tend to favour those type of VNs when I come to choose what to play. But if it doesn't have romance, it won't stop me playing a VN.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
No, some times they can just detract from a great story or characters.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
I tend to think it's going to be a game that is more sedate, more getting involved with the life of a character or group rather than anything else.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

I think as long as you have a warning at the start of the game that these types of themes are included then that would be a good idea.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)

Story, probably. I've played games and VNs that have great story, but not such great art or writing. The story is what really hooks me :D

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.

Sounds interesting, and sounds a bit different, so I would most likely give it a go. But, then I like to try out all kinds of VNs!

Good luck if you start the project!

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#20 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:58 pm

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?

No. I have no interest in love stories.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?

No. In fact, I'll probably won't play it if it contains sex scenes.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.

Honestly? I would really want to know why I would be interested in playing it, especially via reviews. A well written slice of life can be incredible, but a less skillfully written one can be a chore to read/play.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

No way. Knowing what will happen in a story tends to ruin the mystery.

5. What is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)

Complex question. Art will get my attention, story will hold it, but really bad writing will make me give up pretty quickly. Sound can enhance the experience greatly, but it isn't a requirement.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.

No, because I'm a teacher in real life. The last setting I want to see is a school.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#21 Post by Krel » Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:21 am

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
Usually a love story is appealing to me, but I don't need one to enjoy a VN if the premise is interesting enough without it.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
No.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
Realistic, with themes that are relatable in real life (this might be completely wrong, I've never actually checked the real meaning :P )

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
It needs foreshadowing, or feels like a result from decisions the player has made. Otherwise it feels cheap and out of nowhere.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
Art is probably most important, as that's what leads me to play initially. Story comes next; as you said, good story can redeem horrible writing.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
I don't think that would appeal to me enough to play it just from hearing the premise, but if there was significant praise for it, I would probably cave into peer pressure.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#22 Post by synedraacus » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:20 am

1. No. I think visual novels that are not usual pick-one-of-five-schoolgirls are too far between.
2. Not necessarily. Depends on whether story actually needs it.
3. Again, Japanese schoolboys schoolboying. Okay, I do have some beef with this genre, but still.
4. Again, depends on the story. If they die from being hit by a bus, well, shit happens and it usually happens without warning. If they commit suicide or overdose, one may expect them to be abusing drugs before getting that one shot, or being depressed, dumped by boy/girlfriend, whatever.
5. Writing and story. I'll be content with the art that is barely not ugly, sound can be turned off, but nothing (except maybe for good amounts of porn) can make me play through poorly-written or plot hole-ridden VN.
6. If it's well done, I sure will.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#23 Post by BreakingMachines » Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:45 pm

Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
No. But what I love about romance in games is that it's usually associated with a lot of decision making, and that players get a choice on who to romance. As a gamer I love having a lot of options, and actually having impact on the game/narrative.


2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
I prefer my VNs without explicit sex, to be honest, regardless of the genre, unless it's explicitly a erotic visual novel.


3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.

More realistic settings, usually within a place the protagonist is comfortable with. Conflicts that are more internal or conflicts that have something to do with the character on a more personal level, more conflict.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

I'd prefer the surprise, and shock factor over having a warning. Warning in the genre or tags about what type of game could be included, unless it's a twist, then I would generally prefer it to be a surprise.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)

Writing and story, I can forgive awful art, if the story is solid. But I can't forgive a game if it's writing is awful, because that person has the ability to look for editors within this forum and outside this forum to correct said mistakes.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.

Yes, and I'm interested in more visual novels in a Western setting, involving problems and situations that are more identifiable here.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#24 Post by Shiny » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:44 am

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
Well if the story is really well written then it doesn't have to have a love story, but I personally prefer having romantic options in a game, especially a visual novel, which are usually character driven.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
Not at all, no genre absolutely needs sex scenes unless it's erotica haha. If it's romance or plot related though, go for it. I'm not huge on incredibly explicit sex scenes if the game isn't specifically mature apart from that, though.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
No fantasy, just the problems of daily life. I usually think of high school anime since most of the slice of life things I've seen focus on that, or on college.
4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
What do you mean a warning? Well, it shouldn't come completely out of nowhere if it's a big event; maybe indicate that they're depressed, or that their car is malfunctioning or something, or that they like hanging out on the roof/partying, foreshadowing like that, but I wouldn't want it to be spoiled by outright having it said before it happens, and I think that things like that can be unpredictable so it should be shocking and sudden enough.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
Well art is what I notice first, so I think that's pretty important; I just can't take things seriously if they're incredibly ugly, though if it was really epic other than the art I'd give it a chance. I think after that writing is next, but I think that writing and story ARE linked, because I mean, when I think of writing, I think not only of grammar and stuff, but about if the dialogue is clunky and stuff, and I think dialogue and stuff like that is a big part of story, so yeah...

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
Sure, if it was well made. Sounds interesting.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#25 Post by Genesis » Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:48 am

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?

It depends. Personally, I dislike romance in stories (usually, the romance is portrayed poorly and it ends up ruining the experience) but if it is written tastefully and is relevant to the story, then I am all down for it.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?

No.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.

I find slice-of-life a beautiful genre. Some people probably find it boring and over-realistic but slice-of-life stories can touch hearts if written well, and not only that, they can also teach important life lessons to the readers. Unfortunately, I feel that most slice-of-life stories I have read so far do not belong to that category.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

If the character dies in those circumstances, I actually prefer it if the death is random because that is how life goes; death is supposed to be unexpected. Still, subtle foreshadowing beforehand would be best (e.g. what are the circumstances that led to this character's death?) For suicide, there would be signs of depression; for car accident, there would be the reckless driving of other drivers or of the character; for over dosing, there could be mentions that the character was taking an abnormal amount of his or her pills.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)

For me, the order would go from writing > story > art > sound. You can have an amazing premise and characters on the table but if you cannot portray the story well enough, then the excellent ideas will just be wasted. After all, diction plays a vital role when it comes to setting the mood and atmosphere. For art and sound, I guess they are bonus additions, but nothing too significant (although I have to admit that I am guilty of judging games by the art sometimes). They may be distracting if done poorly though.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.

I would give it a try, but eventually, it depends on how developed the characters and plot are. It is possible that an average high school plot can be transformed into something more in a good writer's hands.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#26 Post by lovebby » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:09 pm

1 Definetly not, I think too many games rely too heavily on romance while they try to advertise their game as more than that. It's good and all to have a romance I suppose, but trhere's more interesting things to show your players.

2 Um, no?? I never really think automatically of sex when I think of slice of life.

3 Typically think of issues or just relatable events to my own life in the game/vn. I'm used to seeing the settings in modern houses and schools.

4 I'd say random is rather sleazy(for lack of a better word) way to go about it. Unless a character is prone to hiding emotions, there's sometimes a tell or at least foreshadowing of the reason why they'd drink or feel the need to commit suicide. Not always, but its best not just to kill off characters because of randomness. I suppose it'd be an okay idea to mention in the thread that the vn may contain serious life events and tragedies though.

5 Now I can agree writing and storytelling are two different things, but if the writing isn't good then the story telling won't feel good either. I might get the sense of 'You know, this story had an interesting concept but...' sort of thing going on, but I wouldn't find myself likely to go try another vn/writing by the company or person just because the writing was good. I love my art, let me tell you. What catches my eye the most is great art! It can keep my attention and get me excited for the project. If the art is medicore or a little worse, I need the story to sell it to me.

6 Meh. My preferences usually land me in fantasy and medieval stories, though I can't see why there wouldn't be interest? You just have to have a good project I guess. I feel this would be better located in a different rather a topic.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#27 Post by Fox Lee » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:02 am

Say, did you want an overly-opinionated, way-too-long response to your innocuous questionnaire? OF COURSE YOU DID!

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
No with a "but". I don't mind at all when games/stories are about something other than love, BUT, if a story goes beyond a certain scope and doesn't address relationships between its characters it can seem strange.

Am I explaining that clearly? What I mean is, for a short story or one that deals with a very specific topic or genre (or only really has one focal character) there's no problem at all. However, if a story is especially lengthy and/or I'm seeing characters grow and develop and relate to one another, but the possibility of romance isn't addressed - even just to explain why it's not on the cards right now - I might start to wonder why.

If you mean "does a VN have to be about romance for me to enjoy it", certainly not! As long as it doesn't feel like something's "missing", love or romance is not a necessary component.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
I'm not really sure why the genre would affect whether or not sex scenes are required ^^; Personally, there's really only one thing I care about with sex scenes: do I find them well-written, relevant to the plot without major contrivance, and not involving any tropes I find stupid or offensive in porn? As long as that's true, sex scenes are always welcome, but never necessary.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
I mostly of think of "slice of life" as "lacking a specifically unreal setting". Like a default. If it could happen in real, more-or-less present day life (or somebody else's real life, since they're basically always set in Japan or the US :p) then it's probably SOL.

I suppose anything that was overwhelmingly dramatic would also not really qualify, in my mind. Like if it feels over-the-top enough to be a soap opera, or adrenaline-y enough to be action/thriller, it's not really SOL either. That's just personal feelings.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

I would feel cheated if it was genuinely random. For any event like that, there should be some clues; they wouldn't have to be obvious, like maybe it would seem random if you weren't paying attention or didn't recognise the clues, but if you went back and checked you would realise that you were being warned. But just genuinely out-of-the-blue? That feels cheap to me.

Plus, this may sound weird, but being more real doesn't necessarily lead to an event feeling more real. For me, worrying about what might happen to somebody I cared about, if I had some idea but couldn't know for sure, would do more to connect me to a character's personal tragedy than having them up and die without warning.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
Writing > Characters > Art > Plot > Sound. I often play with the sound off because of my environment and I dislike voice-acting in general (sorry VAs, it's not personal!) so that's definitely the bottom of the heap for me.

OTOH, I find it incredibly jarring to read very poor writing, no matter how good the story is. It's like hearing a story read aloud, but by somebody who can't read fluently; it may not be their fault and I'm not saying it should be held against them, but that doesn't stop it from wrecking my enjoyment completely. A consistent tone is also very important to me; I'm not saying you can blend serious with comedy or romance with action or whatever, I just mean that it's very important to me that a serious story isn't undermined by elementary mistakes.

I put "characters" in there because to me it's important to separate them from the story. I really don't mind reading a plain, predictable or straightforward story, as long as the execution is solid and I can love the characters. This is especially important in the typical visual novel, where character dialogue makes up a majority of the text. Sure, an engaging plot is valuable, but to me it's nowhere near as valuable as characters I can enjoy spending time with.

Art and plot are of nearly equal importance to me, in that I really like for both to be spectacular, but I can enjoy both just fine as long as they're not actively horrible (or actively at odds with more important aspects, like character and tone). Art edges out plot for me because I'm superficial like that. I just really like pretty things.

ON the note of art, I find a consistent style is more important than top-notch skill. If an artist can sell me on the idea that they meant it to look like that, I really couldn't care less if their anatomy is imperfect or their characters are a bit same-y.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.

I might give it a go. The central conflict doesn't excite me a whole lot, mainly because it sounds like a choice between working for The Man and becoming The Man. Now, if my friends and I could carry on as an independent success and reject going corporate even at the cost of more lucrative careers, that's the kind of choice that'd make me happy.

Also purely on a personal preference level, I find American characters/stories set in America to be a wee bit boring. As an English-speaking non-American, I've spent my life surrounded by an Uncanny Valley of US-centric media, just close enough to reality that the places where it's alien feel much more pronounced. As a result, I find characters of almost any other nationality to be more interesting. (Actually, this probably contributes a lot to how much I prefer genre fiction/movies, why I got so into anime, and why I still dislike English dubs (since they almost universally present US or Canadian accents as the "default" state of English speech.))

All that notwithstanding, you really should write the story that interests you, especially when you're starting out. I'm not advising you to ignore feedback or reject criticism, but when you're making something just for the love of making it, go with whatever will keep you motivated and get you to a finished product. Don't EVER include ANYTHING just because you feel obligated. You can never please everyone, and at this stage, there's no point writing something where your heart isn't in it!
Fox Lee: The Girl Your Mother Warned You About
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